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Boral case bolsters need for report's release.

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7 February 2003




Today’s judgement in the Boral case, and the debate about its implications, strengthen the need for the immediate release of the Dawson Report into the Trade Practices Act.


The report was h anded to the government last week.


Treasurer Peter Costello should immediately release the report so that all interested parties are in a position to respond to its proposals.


His plan to sit on the report until he has decided his response - which will no doubt be delivered as a fait accompli - is unacceptable.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission action against Boral is seen as a litmus test of the adequacy of Section 46 of the Trade Practices Act, which deals with abuses of market power, and provides important protection for the interests of consumers and small business.


Without going to the merits of the case, the High Court decision suggests that in the interests of ensuring a competitive and efficient economy, the government when it examines the Dawson Report should give priority to ensuring the effectiveness of Section 46.


The opposition will study the details of the judgement, and apply any lessons in its response to the Dawson Report.


Further information:  Robert Garran  (02) 6277 4803,   0419 692 504